WXXI AM News

Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

It’s not everyday that you hear about a neighborhood, plagued with drug sales and use, coming together and saying: “We have had enough, no more!” That’s exactly what’s happening right now in the City of Rochester’s North Clinton Avenue neighborhood. It’s an area so synonymous with drug activity, some refer to it as “Heroin Alley.” On this edition of Need to Know, you’ll see it’s also a place working to forge a new path.

The people, the stories, the addiction. On a special edition of Need to Know we examine what you likely haven’t heard about the heroin and opioid crisis and the epidemic’s ripple effects impacting our region. It's part of our series Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect.

Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist, Adam Guettel, calls it a show that is unabashedly romantic, full of strings, and passionate singing. Well, we have him to thank for all that. It’s the award-winning Broadway hit, “The Light in the Piazza.” In 2005, Guettel won two Tonys for his score for the musical. And now, he’s in Rochester, for the Eastman Opera Theatre’s performance of “The Light in the Piazza” happening this week at Kodak Hall. We recently caught up with Guettel, who also happens to be the grandson of famed American composer Richard Rodgers.

“Meeting a woman where she is, addressing her immediate needs, and building on her strengths” - according to Rochester’s Jean Carroll, that’s what builds confidence and puts a woman on a path towards a better future. The President and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County has been tackling that work for more than 30 years. Work that, for the most part, will come to an end later this month. Carroll is stepping down from her post for personal obligations. Before she goes, she joins us to reflect on the efforts she has spearheaded to fight racism, racial inequalities, and poverty for women and children in Rochester.

Jean Carroll is leaving the YWCA. A Rochester voice and force in the fight to end racism and empower women, she shares what she wants you to know about race, class and gender barriers for women in our region.  Also on the show, he’s referred to by some as “Broadway Royalty.” Why a Tony Award-winning composer is in Rochester just before a Broadway hit opens at Kodak Hall.

 Jean Carroll, president and CEO of the YWCA, is leaving after more than 30 years of fighting to end racism and empowering women is leaving her post.

For 10 years Rochester has joined communities around the country to help do one thing: put an end to a word individuals with disabilities call offensive and derogatory - the R-word - meaning “retard” or “retarded.” It’s all part of an initiative spearheaded by the Golisano Foundation called: Spread the Word to End the Word. It’s linked to a national campaign launched by Special Olympics and Best Buddies. On this edition of Need to Know, we discuss the damaging impact of a word gone wrong.

He’s been described by some as one of President Trump’s most loyal defenders. So, in the midst of what seems to be a daily whirlwind of political news out of Washington, where does Congressman Tom Reed stand on some of the issues rocking our nation? Congressman Reed of New York’s 23rd District, which includes parts of Canandaigua and Geneva, joins this edition of Need to Know.

Fears of a trade war,  confusion over immigration, and questions about what’s next in the gun debate. On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll hear what Congressman Tom Reed has to say about some of the key issues of the day.

Also on the show, just one word can dehumanize, degrade, and disempower. The impact of that word and why some in the Rochester community are working to end the use of it for good.

This week a group of Rochester teens will perform a version of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth". But, this is not your typical "Macbeth" played by your typical actors. Many of the young people involved in the play are also involved in the juvenile justice system. Their co-actors? Members of law enforcement, teachers, therapists and community advocates. It’s all run through a program called Shakespeare from the Streets out of Hillside’s Reinvesting in Youth program. On this edition of Need to Know, we learn how the program is used as an intervention for at-risk teens.

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